About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

L is for LENSES

A camera lens is, simply put, an optical lens or group of lenses used with a camera body and a mechanism to make images of objects either on film or on a memory card.

There is no major difference in principle between a lens used for a still camera, a video camera, a telescope, or a microscope, but the detailed design and construction are different. If you’d like to read up on the mathematical constructs of lenses, please check out these websites because frankly, it’s far too complicated for me to understand, let alone explain.

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/telephoto-lenses.htm http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/camera-lenses.htm

As I have mentioned before, I do not use a DSLR – a camera where the photographer is able to manually change the settings by using interchangeable lenses for distance, light, focus, etc. I can do quite a bit with my camera, but if a photographer wants special types of pictures and is extremely proficient, it’s best to have a DSLR.

My camera, a digital, has quite a few settings built into the camera and the lens changes according to my choices. It has an optical zoom lens capability of 30X wide along with settings for Scenes (landscapes, illuminated scenes, fast-moving action, indoor shooting, candlelight, self-portraits, reproducing vivid reds/yellows or greens/blues, fireworks, still life, documents, mountains and seascapes, birds in the wild, pets, and with a soft background effect), Magic (taking pictures with various effects like pop art, pin hole, fish eye, and drawing), Panorama, and Beauty (to create dynamic portrait pictures).

Here is a photo using the birds in the wild setting. Be sure to click on the photos to enlarge.

These eagles love to sit at the top of a gigantic cedar tree down the street from my house and one sunny day I managed to get quite a few images of them.

Here's a mountain scene using my telephoto setting. I took this one on February 6 of this year from the grassy area beside Boundary Bay Airport. Can you see the bird flying just in front of the center-right mountain peak?

Now for a few photos showing brilliant reds, oranges, yellows, purples, blues, greens.

One last thing I'd like to mention is the lens' capability to photograph things from up close. This is called a "macro" shot and I will focus on (pardon the pun) this next week for the letter "M." But here are a couple of my shots using the macro setting. First, a bumble bee and next are some hydrangea flower petals.

Finally, large thanks to the lovely Mrs. Nesbitt for her lavish and likeable ABC Wednesday! Her loyal, loveable, and lusty crew of assistants will visit your posts to liven you up with their sometimes lighthearted or loopy comments. It isn't laborious for us at all, and we feel extremely lucky to be part of such a lively team.

Friday, March 23, 2012

K is for KEEPERS

Kudos to Denise Nesbitt for continuing to maintain this remarKable ABC Wednesday site! Her keen, kind, and sometimes kooky group of assistants will keep on knocking at the virtual doors of your sites to let you know how much we liKe your contributions. Whether you share your knitting, your knife collection, your kidney transplant, or stories about kings, killer bees, kangaroos, or kites, we will be there to give you personal kudos and kisses for your cracKing efforts!

Okay, I have to veer slightly from my theme this week. For the life of me, I could not think of anything related to photography that began with the letter "K." I briefly considered doing a biography on a famous photographer, but I wasn't familiar with any I found whose name began with a "K." So, after conferring with someone who happened to be standing here, I (we) came up with doing a slide show of photos I consider to be "keepers" from over the past year. Be sure to turn up your speakers to enjoy the accompanying music.
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Sunday, March 18, 2012


Juxtaposition is an act or instance of placing close together or side by side, especially for comparison or contrast. By placing contrasting elements side by side, you add interest to your photographs. You can use small and large, light and shadow, happy and sad, smooth and rough, old and new, horizontal and vertical, dogs and cats, etc.

However, that’s not all you can do in photographs. By using opposing colours of the colour wheel (i.e. using warm and cool colours in contrast), you add a touch of tension to the photo. Also, by using slower shutter speeds along with still objects, you can show moving objects compared to stationary object.

You can also show contrast between sharp focus and out of focus elements by using a wider aperture to blur the background and foreground. All of these methods will add interest and help define the idea behind the photograph.

I went through my photos to see if I had included any juxtaposition in them, considering I had no idea what that was at the time. Remember, I’m still learning just like lots of you. With the following photos, see if you can figure out just how juxtaposition is incorporated.

In this shot, the iconic Vancouver Hotel (opened in 1939) is reflected in the ultra-modern high-rise.

Here we have water, city, and mountains

Here we have two elements: contrast of tall grasses compared to a tall man and the contrast of blue (cool colour) and orange (warm colour).

Here is a bright contrast between green and blue plus a diagonal line within a rectangular frame.

Finally, in this shot I focused on the center of the bud and let the background become blurred.

And in closing, I must thank the jaunty Mrs. Nesbitt for the creation of ABC Wednesday. She and her jolly jewel of a team jump over to everyone's site to, at times, joke around while giving jovial and jazzy comments. Some of us are joyful, others are jaunty or jubilant. But we are never never jealous or judgmental of anyone's post! Here we might jest, but we always encourage one and all to join in the fun.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

I is for IMAGES

Immense thanks to Denise Nesbitt for creating this incredibly creative site! All contributors post such interesting, inspirational, and impressive photos and writings and those of us who visit are inspired by your informative and illustrious offerings.

There are 3 IMAGE formats relevant to digital photography. I will try to illuminate them for as clearly as possible.

JPEG stands for "Joint Photographic Expert Group" and has become the standard format for storing photographic images in digital cameras and for displaying them on internet web pages. They are smaller than TIFF formats and as a result they lose some image data. However, “JPEG files achieve a smaller file size by compressing the image in a way that retains detail which matters most, while discarding details deemed to be less visually impactful.” (from http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/imagetypes.htm)

TIFF stands for "Tagged Image File Format" and is used mostly in the printing and publishing industry. They are significantly larger than JPEG images and can be compressed or uncompressed making sure the image retains all of the image information. This type of file is excellent for intermediate files that you may want to edit later. Many digital cameras have the capability of saving images in either TIFF or in JPEG, but TIFF images take up excessive space. Therefore, it is recommended that one use RAW format because they are significantly smaller while still retaining more information about your image.

The RAW file format is digital photography’s equal to the negative in film photography. It contains untouched, "raw" pixel information from the digital camera’s sensor, containing one red, green, or blue value at each pixel spot. Digital cameras normally "develop" this RAW file by converting it into a full color JPEG or TIFF file, and then store this file in the memory card. Because digital cameras have to make many decisions when developing a RAW file, this format offers more control over how the final JPEG or TIFF image is produced. If you’re interested in the steps a RAW file takes to change an image into a TIFF or JPEG file, see

In conclusion, I thought I’d show you some of my favourite images from over the past little while, all using a JPEG file format. These photos gave me hope that Spring cannot be far away. Come with me for a little tour of my neighbourhood, culminating in an awesome shot of a reflection of the iconic Vancouver Hotel in a new skyscraper in downtown Vancouver. I'll be using that same photo next week for another reason, so keep it in mind. Be sure to turn up your sound to hear the accompanying music.

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Thursday, March 01, 2012

H is for HUE and the HOT SHOE

My title this week sounds a bit like a crazy Welshman with fantasies of doing naughty things with a stiletto. I know, you thought maybe I'd transgressed a bit and there'd be a little titillation, but no. I intend to discuss "Hue" and the "Hot Shoe" and how they fit into my theme of photography. Sorry if I disappoint.

Hue refers to the properties of colour and although there are many mathematical considerations in its computation, I will avoid that part like the plague. You can change the hue in a photo by using any photo software like Photoshop Elements. By playing around with the hue or saturation tool, you can end up with a photo that looks completely unreal. This is fine if you're trying for a surrealistic look, but be careful not to overdo. The purpose of this tool is to alter the vibrancy of colours by either enhancing dull or bright colours. Here are a couple of examples using the same scene taken in a Sicilian olive grove.

First, we have the photo in what I call a "natural" hue.

Second, the photo has been changed to add a yellow hue.

Third, the photo has added a pink hue.

Fourth, the photo has a purple hue.

Finally, the photo has a normal hue with a 50% saturation level.

So you can see that playing with the Hue (and saturation levels) can create a totally different look, depending on what you want to demonstrate. The following shows an example of what I did to the photo of a bow thruster (on a boat) by distorting it with a "wave" element and then saturating it to the maximum level. A boring steel-coloured circle turns into "op art." What do you "see" in the abstract?

Does anyone know what a Hot Shoe is in relation to photography? Contrary to its image as something sexy, it is the spot on the top of a camera where you can mount a flash unit. It is shaped like an inverted, squared-off U of metal. The matching adapter on the bottom of the flash unit slides in from the back of the camera and is sometimes secured by a clamping screw on the flash. In the center of the "U" is a metal contact point. This is used for standard, brand-independent flash synchronization. Normally the metal of the shoe and the metal of the contact are electrically isolated from each other. To fire the flash, these two pieces are shorted together. The flash unit sets up a circuit between shoe and contact—when it is completed by the camera, the flash fires. (from Wikipedia) See below.

So I guess there is an element of mating with the hot shoe, but not a very exciting one.

Hallelujah to Mrs. Nesbitt, who in my mind should wear a halo for all her heroic efforts keeping ABC Wednesday going for 10 rounds! She has hands-down won my admiration for such a creative, intelligent and heartfelt meme. Her happy, hectic and hilarious (yet humble) handful of helpers will visit each contributor to hand out kudos for their posts. No one is hostile, hypocritical, or hateful here. We're all here for fun and to meet people from all over the world. So join in and have some happy times!